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Federal Tax Form

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Preparing a Federal Tax Form

When you're getting ready to prepare your Federal tax forms, you must have a number of different documents on hand. Employers are required to provide you with your W2 form (or forms if you have more than one job) by January 31 each year. Your forms may arrive after that date, but they must be postmarked by January 31 if they're mailed. You may also receive tax documents from your bank if you've earned interest and from your mortgage holder if you've paid interest on your home.

Whenever you receive tax documents in the mail, you should keep them all in one place so that you will be able to access them when you need them. You should also keep receipts for unreimbursed medical expenditures which may be deductible depending on how much you spend. Charitable donations are deductible and should be tracked and documented as well. There are several other potential deductibles such a property taxes you have paid and some expenses for home improvements.

Selecting a Federal Tax Form

Once you have gathered all of the documents you believe you need, you're ready to determine which form or forms you need to complete. (Don't worry if you need more documents later.) The tax form you will need to fill out each year depends primarily on your income and the types of deductions for which you are eligible. The more money you make and the more complicated your deductions, the more complex the form you will need to complete.

If you use the option of online filing, you will find that the program will talk you through each step and will even help you to discover which forms are right for you to use. The online process can actually help you to discover things you may have missed and may be a good option, especially for those whose income or deductions have increased. If you are not sure which forms to use, you may want to seriously consider the advantages of the support you get using online tax filing.


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